Two of my favorite soapy shows are back tonight! The musical dynasties of Empire and Nashville return tonight - and I can't wait! On the menu tonight are recipes inspired by the cities in which all the drama goes down.
Get some down-home cooking with a Tennessee twist with this Jack Daniel's Bacon Mac & Cheese. Who doesn't love a little comfort food with a kick?
Jack Daniel's Bacon Mac & Cheese
adapted from BreadBoozeBacon
- 10 slices of bacon
- 1/2 cup Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 pound box of macaroni
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 Tbsp Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
- 2 cups milk, slightly warmed
- 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 slices provolone cheese
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.
For the bacon part, put 1/2 cup whiskey in small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until about 2 Tbsp remain. On a plate, mix the brown sugar and cayenne pepper together. Take a piece of bacon, dip in the whiskey reduction then press both sides into the plate of sugar/cayenne mixture. Lay bacon on top of foil-lined baking sheet. Repeat for all pieces of bacon. Cook the bacon in the oven for about 5-6 minutes then flip the bacon and cook for another 5-6 minutes. (Note: the sugar will run over the pan - this is why we lined it with foil! - but the bacon should have a nice glossy look). Set aside to cool completely. Chop the bacon and set aside.
For the mac and cheese part, boil the macaroni according to package directions. Drain the pasta and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, make a roux by melting the butter then sprinkling flour over the butter and whisking to combine. Slowly add the 1 Tbsp of whiskey and whisk to combine. Slowly add the warmed milk, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens. Add the cheese and stir until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Add paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce over the macaroni and add the bacon. Stir to coat all the macaroni with the sauce. Serve right away - garnish with extra cheese and bacon, if desired.
Nashville returns tonight at 10p on ABC.
For dessert, get into a New York, Empire State of mind with these Big Apple Spice Oatmeal Cookies. They're a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy and chockful of personality...just like our Cookie Lyon!
Empire returns tonight at 9p on FOX.